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31.12.2011


Tartary buckwheat for endurance athletes

We have no idea whether you'll be able to find Tartary buckwheat [scientific name Fagopyrum tataricum], but if you can get hold if it, extracts of this relative of common buckwheat are interesting for endurance athletes. According to researchers at the Chinese Yiwu Industrial & Commercial College, they boost stamina.

Tartary buckwheat
Until the mid 20th century buckwheat grew wild in Europe. It still does in Asian countries, and in Tibet it's still commonly eaten. That's not so surprising as the nutritional value of the wild variety is very similar to that of the domesticated type.

The two buckwheat varieties have similar protein composition, but Tartary buckwheat probably contains more phenols and potentially bioactive substances. Analyses show that buckwheat consists of 7 percent flavonoids, such as quercetin, kaempferol, rutin and kaempferol-3-rutinoside.

Animal studies show that extracts of Tartary buckwheat offer protection against diabetes and cardiovascular diseases. Performance enhancing characteristics had not yet been examined, so the researchers gave mice 0 [First group], 60 [Second group], 120 [Third group] or 240 mg [Fourth group] extract per kg bodyweight for 28 days.

At the end of the 28 days the researchers tied a weight to the mice's tails and got them to swim to the point of exhaustion. The more extract the mice had been given, the longer they managed to hold out.


Tartary buckwheat for endurance athletes


Tartary buckwheat for endurance athletes


Tartary buckwheat for endurance athletes


Tartary buckwheat for endurance athletes


The researchers examined the mice's blood after the swimming test, and saw that the extracts inhibited the rise of lactic acid and waste protein concentrations. In addition, the extracts delivered higher amounts of glycogen and higher concentrations of the protective enzymes SOD and GPx to the muscles and liver. These enzymes remove aggressive molecules that are released during physical exertion.



The researchers are not sure how the Tartary buckwheat extracts cause these effects. "Further study is needed to elucidate the exact mechanism of the effect of Tartary Buckwheat Extracts on fatigue", they write.

Source:
Int J Mol Sci. 2011;12(8):4770-80.

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